The Essentials of Design

In the UK’s Intellectual Property Office’s website there is a short and interesting overview of the law of Designs: “…The law of designs has  a long  history dating back to the latter part of the 18th century. Originally introduced to protect the designing  and printing of linens and cottons, design law has been extended over the years to cover functional  as well as decorative articles. Designs are applied to a great variety of products from different areas  of industry, from complex instruments such as machines, vehicles, engines and architectural structures  to simple everyday articles such as clothes, jewellery, toys and furniture…” (For full page see UK IPO website).

A short guide for applicants of how to register a design in Israel can be found in the Israeli Patents Office website.

 

Only After 9pm

The UK media watchdog Ofcom has ordered broadcasters to be more careful about showing sexually explicit music videos before 9pm.

Ofcom issued the new guidance so as to tighten the enforcement of existing watershed rules.

Broadcasters have been told to take particular care masking or editing offensive language where possible, in order to protect children.

The new guidelines follow the controversy over the final of The X Factor last year, which attracted 4,500 complaints to Ofcom due to raunchy performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera (For full article see Ben Dowell, The Guardian).

Google Street View In Israel

The Israeli Law Information and Technology Authority (ILITA), Israel’s data protection authority, authorized Google to operate its Street View cars in public areas in Israel and to include these photos in Google Maps. For full article please see ILITA webpage.

High court forces BT to block file-sharing website

Hollywood film studios won a landmark UK high court ruling on Thursday forcing BT to block access to an illegal file-sharing website accused of operating “on a grand scale”. (See The Guardian, Mark Sweney & Josh Halliday for full article).

BBC Content Regulation Requires Changes

According to Digital Spy, “Media regulator Ofcom should have the final say on editorial complaints about the BBC’s shows rather than the BBC Trust, a House of Lords report has said.

At an inquiry into the BBC’s governance and regulation, the Lords communications committee called for “the convoluted and overly complicated complaints process at the BBC” to be revamped.

The committee said that it was hard for licence fee payers to know whom to contact with complaints, particularly because the roles of the BBC Trust and Ofcom partially overlapped.

The peers proposed a complaints “one-stop shop“, in which the two regulators would “work together to resolve the regulation of impartiality and accuracy so that the BBC is no longer its own judge and jury in these matters” (For full report see Andrew Laughlin, Digital Spy).

Police raid Spanish copyright society in embezzlement case

Senior officials in Spain’s Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), the country’s leading collection society for songwriters and composers, face embezzlement charges in the wake of a Friday raid on the organization’s offices.

According to Spanish newspaper El País, the investigation is focused on José Luis Rodríguez Neri, the head of an SGAE subsidiary called the Digital Society of Spanish Authors (SDAE). Neri faces charges of “fraud, misappropriation of funds and disloyal administration.” (For full report see Timothy B. Lee, ars technica).

Libraries should pay copyright owners based on number of works and borrowers, says ECJ

The compensation that music artists and film producers are due when their copyrighted material is made temporarily available to the public should not be exclusively based on set fees, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.

Organisations that loan or rent copyrighted material available to the public should have to pay compensation based on the harm it does to rightsholders, the ECJ said. It said compensation levels should be determined by the number of copyrighted works organisations make available and the number of people who can access them (For full report see out-law.com).

Poker Site Shut Down

One of the world’s most successful poker sites, FullTiltPoker.com, has been
shut down by the FBI.

According to John Oates of The Register: “…Back in April, the Feds arrested 11 people for falling foul of US internet gambling laws, including the three founders of the web’s biggest such sites…

…A statement from Alderney’s Gambling Control Commission said four companies
trading collectively as Full Tilt Poker have had their licences suspended…” (For full report see The Register).

Supreme Court OK’s Sales Of Violent Video Game To Kids

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to children. A divided court majority said the law violates the Constitution’s guarantee of free expression (For report see Nina Totenberg, NPR).

For the Supreme Court decision please press this link.

Internet Name Shake-Up

Reuters reports that: “…Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web – such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro– if the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded is approved…
… ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, is expected to approve the move at a special board meeting…

…The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites…It will also change the way search engines like Google find results, and the way organisations use search-engine optimisation to improve the visibility of their websites in search results…

…It will cost $185,000 to apply, and individuals or organisations will have to show a legitimate claim to the name they are buying…

…GTLDs such as .nyc, .london or .food could provide opportunities for many smaller businesses to grab names no longer available at the .com level – like bicycles.london or indian.food…

…The new domains will also change how ICANN works, as it will have a role in policing how gTLDs are operated, bought and sold. Until now, it has overseen names and performed some other tasks but has been little involved in the Internet’s thornier issues…

…To prevent so-called cyber-squatting, gTLD owners will be expected to maintain operational sites. ICANN will have to approve transfers to new owners at the top level…” (Georgina Prodhan, Reuters).